Date of Conferral







Tracy Marsh


This non-experimental, quantitative study explored the effects of the Buddhist-derived practices of mindfulness and loving-kindness meditations on the wellness of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people. LGB people are at higher risk of mental illness and increased social isolation due to minority stress; Buddhist-derived mindfulness practices mediate these effects in other groups. Lazarus and Folkman's transactional model of stress and coping was the theoretical model explaining how positive cognitive appraisal induced by meditation can mediate effects of stress. This study examined whether mental health scores on the Emotional Symptoms Checklist (ESC), social attitudes measured on the Unjust World Views Scale, and self-perception measured by the Remoralization Scale improved individually and collectively after LGB participants engaged in 1 of 3 meditation conditions: mindfulness practice, loving-kindness practice, or a relaxation control group. ANOVA analyses revealed no significant improvements in participants' scores on the 3 measures as a result of either one of the meditation conditions or the control group. An unexpected finding emerged between participants who reported a history of depression and those who did not; ESC scores among those with depression significantly improved after the meditation or relaxation interlude regardless of group assignment, possibly due to disruption of ruminative thought processes. Future studies could build upon this study by training participants to meditate using more interactive means than online videos used here. The mental health needs of LGB people remain urgent, and further explorations of promising techniques such as mindfulness are the foundation of future social change.